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The AFEM Handbook of Acute and Emergency Care

Adopting an integrated approach to early resuscitation, stabilization and transfer of acutely ill patients substantially reduces the morbidity and mortality associated with a wide range of medical, surgical, and obstetric conditions. Few providers in Africa have received dedicated training in Emergency Care despite the fact that they manage medical emergencies on a regular basis. Current resources fail to address much of the regional disease burden and recommend diagnostic and management pathways that are often not available. The AFEM Handbook was created to address this need by acting as a resource for local and visiting providers practicing in the African setting.


The African Federation for Emergency Medicine has created a handbook that is accessible, easy to use, stratified by resource level, and appropriate to both the burden of disease and the diagnostic and treatment modalities available in most clinical settings in sub-Saharan Africa. This handbook is the first to offer doctors, nurses and clinical officers management strategies based on available resources. It leads providers through a rapid systematic and integrated approach to stabilisation and resuscitation of patients that has been stratified to three resource levels; where there are no available resources, where there are minimal resources, and where there are full resources.


  • Provides diagnostic and management strategies for the most common emergency care problems faced by providers in sub-Saharan Africa
  • Facilitates early recognition and stabilization of life-threatening conditions
  • Articulates diagnostic and care strategies that are adaptable to a variety of settings
  • Provides highly usable information by organizing material such that management can be directed by clinical syndromes even when diagnosis is unknown
  • Includes syndrome-based “Rapid Assessment Protocols” that facilitate rapid intervention for undifferentiated critically ill patients
  • Is aimed at a range of Emergency Care providers, including doctors, nurses, clinical officers, EMS staff, and students


The AFEM Handbook is published by Oxford University Press. It is available for sale in hard copy via,, and It is also available electronically from A portion of the AFEM Handbook sales go directly to AFEM, and will allow AFEM to pursue the development and distribution of future educational products.


Distribution of the AFEM Handbook to clinical sites throughout Africa is supported entirely by generous donations from individuals and groups invested in the advancement of emergency care. We welcome donations in any amount; all contributions allow us to provide additional copies of this valuable resource to the locations where it is needed the most. To donate to AFEM, please click here.

To date, over 8,000 copies of the AFEM Handbook have been donated to clinical sites in 33 African countries. Check it out on the Map. 

For more information about the AFEM Handbook, please contact us at


South Africa

South AfricaSouth Africa

EMSSA represents a group of enthusiastic healthcare professionals dedicated to the development of quality emergency care throughout South Africa. Emergency Medicine has only recently been recognized as an independent speciality, although this country has always had a large burden of patients presenting to our pre-hospital and hospital emergency services with experienced and passionate personnel rendering much needed care.



The Emergency Medicine Association of Tanzania (EMAT) was formed in May 2010  by doctors and nurses with active involvement in emergency care in Tanzania. The President is Dr Hendry Robert Sawe, of Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences(MUHAS)-Dar es salaam. The objective of EMAT is to Pioneer, promote and advocate for dissemination of emergency care in Tanzania, through Teaching, research and education of emergency care.



The Botswana Society for Emergency Care (BSEC) held it's foundational meeting in November 2010, and was officially registered as a society in Botswana in September 2011. BSEC's mission is to promote advocate for emergency care in Botswana through teaching, research, and education. BSEC liases with partners from EMSSA and AFEM, and supports the emergency medicine post-graduate training program at the University of Botswana School of Medicine. Since it's inception, BSEC has hosted seminars on emergency triage, pre-hospital care, and acute care needs in Botswana.



The Ethiopian Society of Emergency Medical Professionals was formed in 2012. The President is Dr Sisay Teklu, of Addis Ababa University. The objective of ESEP is to assist in development of hospital and Pre-Hospital emergency care.



LEMA will encourage and promote professional excellence, advance the science and practice of emergency medicine, and serve as an advocate for patients, their families, the public, the profession and the ER physicians. It will offer to the interdisciplinary team the necessary tools for the interaction with the critically ill patient and their families from a holistic perspective.



SEMPON held their inaugural scientific conference in September 2014, themed: "The State of Emergency Care in Nigeria: the Way Forward". The objective of the organisation is to evaluate the state of emergency care in Nigeria, and engineer cooperation and partnership among key stakeholders.



The president of the Egyptian Society for Emergency Medicine is Dr. Hussein Sabri. It was formed in 2012, and is dedicated to improving patient care by advancing the science and practice of emergency medicine. It is an interdisciplinary organisation whose members are involved in the provision of emergency care.